Boxing out the pain with new NGO

Featuring world champion boxers
A mental health support organisation is set to launch a boxing exhibition featuring Namibian world champions.
Adam Hartman
National Mental Health Care Namibia, a newly registered non-governmental organisation, will host an official launch ceremony in the form of a boxing exhibition night on 23 July.

The ‘Box Out Rape, Depression and Suicide’ event will be held at the MTC Dome in Swakopmund. The organisation’s founder Cathy Kambanda said it was established with the aim to assist Namibians with mental health problems and to promote good mental health and well-being amongst the Namibian public. “Namibia’s suicide rate has been increasing and therefore the call to raise awareness around the social stigmas and ambiguity of suicidal behaviours is resounding louder and louder,” the former rape victim, who fought through severe depression and suicidal ideation, told Namibia Media Holdings at a press conference on Friday.

“I was there, and now I am able to help others in similar situations. There is hope.”

Box it out

The organisation plans to launch its assistance in the fight against mental health issues, which affects many Namibians, through partnering with the Erongo Boxing Federation and Namibian professional boxers such as the renowned Harry Simon, Paulus Moses, Vikapita Meroro and Paulus Ambunda as well as comedians and socialites Milton Xuro and Leonard Witbeen. They will all be competing in an exciting and adrenaline-filled boxing bonanza with the themes ‘box out depression’ (Simon vs Meroro), ‘box out rape’ (Ambunda vs Moses) and ‘box out suicide’ (Xuro vs Witbeen). There will also be 10 main bouts by amateur boxers from the Erongo Boxing Federation.

Stop the violence

Simon said he was called to do the exhibition fight and could not say no. “I am happy to be part of this; it’s a very good thing. There are a lot of things happening out there that need to stop, like violence against women. This must be boxed out of Namibia.”

Kambanda added that she hopes to raise at least N$300 000 during the event, which will go a long way in establishing the organisation and helping those dealing with mental health issues. National Mental Health Care Namibia will have a call centre, counsellors and professional psychologists to help those in need across the country. Available at Webtickets, standard tickets to the event will cost N$150, but there are also more expensive tickets for certain privileges.